Every creative person fights a daily war...
...and that war is against... RESISTANCE!
...okay? Um, Drew, what does that -
SO. I've been reading this delightful little book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. The main crux of the book focuses around this demon creatives must face called "Resistance."
Resistance is going on facebook when you should be making a list of casting directors to keep in your actor database. Resistance is watching Netflix for five hours because you didn't feel like practicing your instrument for one hour. Resistance is going into an internal seizure fit because you can't think of the next goddamn word to write.
Put simply: Resistance is that force in the universe that keeps you from doing your artistic work. And boy, does Resistance have a lot of tactics.
The above are blatant examples of procrastination and deep fear, but Resistance, according to Pressfield, often works in subtle, insidious ways as well. One that I'm prone to is: "eh, I'm a liiiitle short of my goal for today, but I feel good so we'll call it here yep."
One of the big ways you fight this modern day Beelzebub we call Resistance is to adopt the demeanor of a professional.
I. Am. All. About. This. Shit.
I've read, and continue to read, a smattering of career, business and creative advice books. I also listen to a podcast or two where productivity is the topic du-jour. I often find these helpful, but none of them have had the immediate grip on my psyche as Pressfield's book.
Do I think that The War of Art can sometimes be a little too simplistic when it comes to the methods of keeping Resistance at bay? Yes. As much as I like imagining Resistance as the enemy that must be killed because they are so evil, the fact of the matter is, I'm skeptical that having such a militaristic attitude in dealing with Resistance is totally psychologically beneficial. More to the point, I worry that keeping up such an aggressive attitude is a one-way ticket to Burnoutsville. I also worry that, when I inevitably fail and give in to Resistance because that's just the way willpower works sometimes, that it will cause yet more anguish than usual over having not done the work.
Reservations aside, I'm giving this a shot. In order to combat Resistance, be a goddamn professional. Which means every day, no matter what, you turn up and do the work. It means doing what needs to be done. It means dealing with your fear and going through the shit anyways. It means holding your ground and knowing your worth. It means taking care of yourself.
I am Drew Petriello and I am a goddamn professional. Always have been, but this time we're coming at it with some renewed vigor because I think I've finally worked out vis-a-vis this book exactly what being a professional means. It's not some vague aspiration, it's a set of concrete behaviors.
Go forth, and tear down the walls of Resistance! Slaughter the armies! Butcher their families! RAZE THEIR HOMES! EAT THEIR CHILDREN! DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, THEY'RE RESISTANCE, THEY'RE BEINGS OF PURE WICKEDNESS.!
don't feel too bad for Resistance. Motherfucker has it coming.